Wednesday Morning News
Apple showed off photos taken on iPhone XS over the weekend, labelling them under its “Shot on iPhone” branding. There are plenty of great examples of iPhone photography taken by regular folks like you and me, and aided by the camera magic of the new iPhone XS and XS Max along with its new camera features like Smart HDR, adjustable depth-of-field, and neural network learning for all-round better images.
Indeed, Austin Mann’s review of the iPhone XS camera from a recent trip in Zanzibar show off how much better the images produced by the new camera system are. Compared to even the iPhone X, shots from the iPhone XS have more dynamic range and more detail, especially in the vertical panorama image shared by Mann. Computational photography may mean we know less about what exactly our cameras are doing, but it’s hard to say the results aren’t better in almost every circumstance.
Apple has previewed the 70 new emoji coming to iOS as part of the iOS 12.1 update. The update had its second developer beta released today alongside similar betas for watchOS 5.1, macOS 10.14.1, and tvOS 12.1, including the first public betas of the iOS and macOS versions. Group FaceTime is still the headlining feature here, although there are other minor fixes including a potential fix for the iPhone XS and XS Max charging issue, and even a new full-screen colour watch face for Apple Watch Series 4 owners.
The FBI has solved the mystery of the Fruitfly Mac malware that went undetected for over a decade until its first discovery early last year. Interestingly, while the FBI released information relating to Fruitfly’s attack vector and how it spread between computers all the way back in March, this wasn’t picked up by the wider security community until very recently. As it turns out, Fruitfly spread via externally facing ports for common externally-facing services like AFP, RDP/VNC, SSH, and Back to my Mac, which, in combination with weak passwords derived from third party data breaches, allowed it to be installed remotely.
Support pages and screenshots of the set-up process suggest the imminent launch of Apple Pay Cash in France and Germany. While our own forums have pointed out the disabled Apple Pay Cash button in the Messages app in watchOS 5 in regions where it’s not yet available, this definitely seems like much stronger evidence Apple’s peer-to-peer mobile payments system is launching in some EU countries soon.
While it was announced at WWDC this year, Apple has now flipped the switch to allow students from three US universities to setup their student ID cards in Apple Wallet. Students from Duke University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Oklahoma can now add their student cards into the Wallet app, which in turn will allow them to pay for things on campus and gain access to secure areas, all powered by NFC tech in the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Speaking of flipping switches, Apple has also enabled a number of worldwide businesses for its Business Chat feature that works using Messages. TechRadar says Apple has confirmed both Telstra and Harvey Norman have signed up, but as of writing, only Harvey Norman’s Business Chat seems to work when I tried searching for them in Apple Maps (no such luck for Telstra).
Apple Music has scored an exclusive deal with the well-known Ministry of Sound label, which will see the label pull its popular dance/EDM music playlists from Spotify and put them up on Apple Music, instead.
Changed security protections in macOS Mojave necessitate a couple of extra steps if you’re currently using Backblaze to backup your Mac. Their support article on the topic has further instructions to ensure Photos, Contacts, Calendars, Safari, Mail, or some other items are backed up correctly after you’ve updated.
AppleInsider tells you how to create your own dynamic desktops like the built-in ones in macOS Mojave. It’s funny, because while the tech behind dynamic desktops involves location awareness and HEIC-bundled images, having macOS change your desktop wallpaper by pointing it at a folder and rotating through them on a schedule has been a feature for a long, long time, and while it’s never had an official name, I’m proposing we call it ghetto dynamic desktops.